Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Advent Calendar, The Christmas Tree

GeneaBloggers has a Advent Calendar event this year, 24 days of family history related subjects to challenge the researcher. The prompt/challenge for December 1st is:

Did you have a real tree or was it artificial? How big was the tree? Who decorated the tree? What types of Christmas trees did your ancestors have?

For the most part, our families had real trees, that is until Man and I married. First few trees were real till I discovered that I broke out in mini-hives from the pricks of the needles of the trees and Son # 1 was diagnosed with some icky allergies. Thus began the beginning of artificial trees for Man and I.

I have photos of some of our trees, with presents piled around the trunk. One year I cross stitched uncounted decorations, which I still have and use. Several years I had a tree in every room of the house, YES, even the powder rooms, some rooms had more than one, each tree decorated specifically for the room it resided in.

I have photos of the twins helping gramma and grampa decorate our tree.

I even found a photo of my grandmother and her sister, Rena in front of a Christmas tree.

But, I think my most favorite and humorous story about a Christmas tree is about my mother and the tree that was, well, a bit bare, her Charlee Brown tree. I don’t remember the year, I don’t remember how old I was, but, I do remember the story. My mother did an outstanding job of decorating the home for the holidays. We lived in an older home, had some great character, oak built in book cases between the front room and the large dining room. She would put the tree in one of the corners of the front room next to those book cases. I have photos of it in both corners. The tree was real of course, and usually fairly tall.

One year the tree she chose so carefully, when brought in and carefully mounted in its tree stand (maybe a bucket of sand??), well, it was, dare we say it, “thin”. I am gonna guess it was a white pine type, but, I am not sure. Anyway, it had “holes” that made the tree, sadly “ugly”. My mother, the creative one, decided she could fix this little situation, and she did! She went out somewhere, cut some pine limbs, brought them home and nailed them to the tree, filing the “thin” spots. The way I remember it, she even had to tie this tree to the book cases. (Of course, that could be another year’s story, morphed into one as time eases on.)

Now, Mom would have pulled off her little creative tree trimming, except that a holiday guest who was quite well versed in tree attributes noted that there was no way this tree was au-natural. He commented that he had never seen a tree of this type with SOOOOO many limbs! Mom had been caught with her branches nailed!

This might be the Charlee Brown tree, my brother and I and lots of presents.

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